I would have to say this is the biggest hot topic for moms; just behind discipline and education. As mothers we are on duty 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. The stay-at-home-moms are jealous because their husbands get to leave the house each day use the bathroom in peace and have lunch with adults. I am green with envy that Caskey gets to sit in traffic for about 90-120 minutes each day and listen to whatever he wants; talk radio, his favorite station, anything but kids fighting or Laurie Berkner. I wish I had that kind of 'me time'.
Even though my regular babysitters have their own daytime jobs and responsibilities I still find ways to sneak in me time and bring the kids along. Many time during the week we will go to Chuck E Cheese or McDonald's to eat with another mom. It gives me a chance to gab while the kids are entertained. The bonus is I don't have to cook dinner or clean up. When that doesn't work out I invite a family over to our house to eat; pizza or Mac n Cheese is usually on the menu. And the other mother usually pitches in to help with the dishes. I also have a standing date with the grandparents. Even though I am still available to move along the routine on a school night I don't have to do the bathing, dressing, reading, cooking or dishes. Plus I get to visit with adults again. YAY!
On the weekends I plan more 'me time'. Sometimes, as a family, we will go to the mall and do errands. Having my husband there as an extra set of hands surely makes things less stressful. I usually schedule a dinner out then too! And we try to do one-on-one time with the kids on the weekends. Sometimes Lainy Ann and I will go to breakfast and then run an errand together. And Caskey will often take Connor to do something special, that leaves me with just two kids.
Now I realize none of this is actually time without the kids. But that's really difficult to come by. So I figure any time I have fewer than 3 kids and less responsibility than normal it is a break for me. Also, adult conversation is a huge part of saving my sanity.
Don't get me wrong, I still go out without the kids, usually another errand with a friend, lunch with my mom when Caskey is around to watch the kids during nap time, or even the occasional pedicure with my mother. But I have very limited time. And I like to be with my kids. So figuring out how to balance 'me time' with kids time is very precarious. But I think we have made a good compromise in our lives.
Caskey gets his 'me time' too. His scheduling is less flexible as he is volunteering with a few different organizations; CERT and Ham Radio Operators. But he is free to go do anything he likes after 8 pm and the kids are in bed. Fortunately, he is a night owl so he is okay with that.